Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, April 26, 2018


The heroes of the Justice League
JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017). Director: Zack Snyder.

A demonic figure named Steppenwolf (Claran Hinds) sends monstrous para-demons to Earth in order to claim three "mother boxes" (sort of an alien computer) secreted in Atlantis, on Paradise Island, and somewhere among ordinary humans. When the three boxes are connected, it could signal the end of mankind. Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) gather together other heroes to combat this menace: a teenage super-speedster, the Flash (Ezra Miller of We Need to Talk About Kevin); Aquaman (Jason Momoa), who is more at home under the ocean; and Cyborg (Ray Fisher), who is mostly mechanical. The team (never really referred to as the "Justice League") use one of the Mother Boxes to resuscitate Superman (Henry Cavill), who was killed at the end of Batman V Superman. One of the best scenes in the movie features the battle between a confused, newly awakened Man of Steel with the other heroes as they try to get through to him in his confused and hostile state. While Justice League is an improvement over Batman V Superman, it's still disappointing considering the talent involved and all the hard work and fine FX that went into the production. While there is some excitement and suspense to the action sequences, they still often look like confused and cluttered video games. There is an admirable attempt to add some flesh and blood to these heroic and colorful characters, not only by the screenwriters but by the actors who play them; Affleck and Gadot are especially notable, and Jeremy Irons makes an excellent Alfred, Batman's butler and aide-de-camp. It is also strange that the minor character of Steppenwolf should have been chosen as the primary antagonist when his nephew Darkseid would have been a much better choice. Many of the concepts in the film are based on ideas by writer-artist Jack Kirby, who created the "Fourth World" mythos that is referenced in the movie. Changes from comics to film are numerous: Barry Allen was not a teen when he became the Flash and the business with his father being in jail for murdering his mother was carried over from the TV series. Aquaman was brusque, bearded and long-haired only for a brief period in the comics. Lois Lane and Ma Kent are nearly unrecognizable. For more about the comic books see The Silver Age of Comics.

Verdict: Now that the characters and the team have been introduced, perhaps the sequel will be a more memorable movie, although this has its moments. **3/4.

No comments: